Stoke-on-Trent protests over pay cuts for 1,000 council workers

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Image caption,
Protesters gathered outside council offices in Stoke over potential cuts for StokeCare staff

Council workers have protested over plans to cut pay for more than 1,000 staff, including carers, as part of £9m savings.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council intends to cut extra payments for StokeCare staff working weekends and unsociable hours.

The GMB union said it would mean a 20% pay cut that would "affect some of the lowest earners".

Budget plans were approved by cabinet members and will go to the full council for final approval next Thursday.

A council spokesperson said they were "difficult decisions but we must take responsible action to support the most vulnerable people".

Unions said plans would affect up to 120 different roles in care home and respite care, as well as customer service workers, library and park teams.

Protesters who attended Wednesday's cabinet meeting shouted "disgusting" and "shame on you" when the budget was approved by councillors.

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Image caption,
Unions say workers will end up losing hundreds of pounds a month if their allowances for working evenings and weekends are taken away

"The budget proposals aim to bring long-term stability to services and also invest strategically to help the city to grow," a statement from the council, which is run by a Conservative and Independent coalition, said.

"In order to do this, it is proposed to make £9.2m of savings and raise council tax by 3.99% - with that increase ring-fenced for social care."

Tony Jones, the regional organiser for Unison, said the plans were in effect a 20% pay cut for members.

GMB organiser Dave Warwick added: "They should go to central government and demand the money Stoke City Council needs and take its boot off the neck of its lowest paid workers."

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